New Recommendations on Childhood Obesity
December 2, 2020 in
Obesity Medicine by
Craig Primack MD FACP
All children should be screened for obesity. Children with obesity should be referred for medical treatment. Guidelines come from the US Preventative Services Task Force shows the data and risks of not treating childhood obesity. Experts provide guidance to primary care and specialist physicians about childhood obesity. Regular screening for obesity in children starting at age 6 is advised.
What Makes a Child Obese?
Children at different ages have different normals for body mass index BMI. In simple terms, the higher a child’s BMI, the more likely he/she is to be overweight. To assess for obesity, you’ll need to convert to BMI for age percentile. An easy-to-use children’s BMI calculator can be found here.
A normal BMI % is <85. 85-95% has overweight, and >95% carries a diagnosis of obesity.
How to Treat Childhood Obesity
This is where the controversy begins. Some recommendations don’t address all the specific treatment elements for children with obesity. Our experience has shown that children can lose significant weight through a medical weight loss program. This includes nutrition intervention, behavior change, exercise, and appetite suppressants in some cases. Children tolerate the treatment program well and improve their self-esteem while improving the medical diseases caused by obesity.
Read our FREE e-book Chasing Diets and learn about the weight loss program that works.